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Degree Options & Requirements

MA/MS Option

The Environmental Humanities Program offers either an MA or an MS. The primary distinction between the two Master's degrees offered by the Program is that the Master of Arts degree requires a "standard proficiency" in an approved language (see the Department of World Languages and Cultures Graduate Language Verification), while the Masters of Science requires students to complete three (effective for the Fall 2017 cohort) research methods courses approved by the student’s supervisory committee.


Students electing the thesis option are required to complete a minimum of 27 hours of course work and six hours of thesis credit. The student will prepare a thesis prospectus in consultation with his or her adviser and the supervisory committee. The final prospectus must be approved by the supervisory committee and be filed within the chair of the supervisory committee's home department. A public presentation and defense of the thesis is required. Once the student has made the revisions suggested by the supervisory committee, the students must submit their properly formatted thesis, including Final Reading Approval forms to the  Thesis Office for their release before graduation. Thesis writers should be very familiar with the Handbook for Theses and Dissertations


Students who select the project option are required to complete at least 27 hours of course work and six hours of thesis credit and completion of a creative or applied project. A minimum of six credit hours is awarded for the project. Students who select the project option are encouraged to combine internship experiences with their project. Students will prepare a project prospectus which must receive final approval of the supervisory committee. The prospectus meeting for the master's project may be open to the faculty and graduate students at the discretion of the candidate and his or her supervisory committee. A public presentation and defense of the project is required. A bound copy of the project or a final professional practicum report must be filed in Environmental Humanities once the project hours are cleared.


Students who select the non-thesis option must complete a minimum of 33 semester hours of course work and pass a comprehensive examination administered by the supervisory committee. Election of the non-thesis option must be made and approved by the supervisory committee prior to the completion of 24 hours of course work. The comprehensive examination consists of a six-hour written examination and a two-hour oral examination or defense. The written examination will test the candidate's knowledge and understanding of:

 the theoretical foundations of humanities-based inquiry of environmental phenomena.

 the major methodological approaches in humanities-based research.

 the research literature in the candidate's area of specialization.

A formal decision of "pass" or "fail" of the written examination will be made by the supervisory committee before proceeding with the oral examination. The oral examination will not be scheduled until the committee has agreed that the candidate has passed the written examination and the appropriate form filed with the graduate office.

Required Courses

Students must complete a minimum of 33 semester hours, of which a minimum of 27 hours is represented by coursework. Six courses must be successfully completed by all students:

EHUM 6101 (3) Foundations of Environmental Humanities

EHUM 6102 (3) Field Methods in Environmental Humanities

EHUM 6103 (3) Ecology of Residency

EHUM 6105 (3) Environmental Humanities Writing Seminar

EHUM 6850 (3) Issues in the Environmental Humanities Seminar - required for two semesters

EHUM 6804 (1) Tertulia - Discussion/reading group for the first three semesters

These courses provide a core understanding of theoretical and research perspectives represented in the Environmental Humanities, as well as an enriching cohort experience for interdisciplinary students.



Last Updated: 10/4/17